Cricket South Africa used its Annual General Meeting to rubbish claims that it was bankrupt or that its chief executive was an all-powerful administrative dictator.
There was also talk of a unified front and request for patience as new initiatives and new structures are put in place. The organisation’s president, Chris Nenzani, who, as a result of a change to CSA’s constitution was granted an extra year in his position, making him the longest serving president of the organisation in its history, said it would be better to judge CSA’s changes in 12 months time.
Cricket SA’s chief executive, Thabang Moroe, has taken a number of projects under his watch, including a new structure around the national team, that in Moroe’s words, he hoped would move the organisation closer to the Proteas. Many have viewed this as part of a power grab that could see him have enormous influence over the make up of the team, its culture and even how it plays.
However, Nenzani pushed back strong against that notion. “The board has given the executive management, through the CEO, more responsibilities, not power. There's a difference between power and responsibility. With responsibility comes accountability but power can be exercised arbitrarily with scant regard for accountability,” said Nenzani.
“The kind of responsibility given to the CEO and his management comes with high level of accountability.”
Moroe is accountable to the Board of Directors said Nenzani, adding it would “not fail” in its “responsibility to hold him accountable.”
Cricket SA announced a R200-million loss for the last financial year, a direct result of expenses incurred in hosting last year’s inaugural Mzansi Super League, and that the incoming tours, by Sri Lanka and Pakistan last summer, aren’t as lucrative as those against Australia and India, who toured the country the previous summer, or England who journey here at the end of the year.
Independent director Mohammed Iqbal Khan, who also serves as the chairman of CSA’s Finance Committee, gave an optimistic breakdown of CSA’s ‘Project 654’ the programme aimed at alleviating the forecast debt of R654-million that CSA announced at parliament last year.
Khan said that as a result of cost cutting, the restructuring of the domestic circuit, a grant from the ICC and recalculations of dollar based deals as a result of the changing rand/dollar exchange rate, CSA’s forecast debt had in fact dropped to R120-million.
Nenzani said it would have been easy for the current CSA administration to tap into the organisation’s cash reserves of R856-million, but that would have been irresponsible. “Because of our healthy cash reserves – we could have been irresponsible and said ‘654’ is not our problem to fix, it’s for the next leadership to come. With the current reserves, we could live well. But we had to be very conscious and say we want the sustainability for the organisation not to be threatened.”@shockerhess